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Meeting Minutes
Terms of Reference

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First Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC)

February 18, 2003
8:45 am to 1:30 pm

Voluntary Sector Government
JSC Members

Monica Patten (Co-chair)
Darlene Bessey
Gordon Floyd
Marcel Lauzière

JSC Members

Eileen Sarkar (Co-Chair)
Mary Carman
Bill McCloskey
Mike Sheridan
Andrew Treusch
Yvonne Atwell
Shauna Sylvester
Scott Broughton
Secretariat*  Secretariat**
Brenda Cameron Couch
Gary Evans
Laurie Rektor
Kathryn Fredericks
Elizabeth Shea
From the Voluntary Sector Forum From Canadian Heritage

Suzanne Clément
Joan Katz
Janet Campbell
Linda Savoie
Record of Discussion


Eileen Sarkar and Monica Patten welcomed participants to the first meeting of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC). JSC members and other participants introduced themselves and expressed their hopes and concerns about this new phase of the Voluntary Sector Initiative. All agreed on the need to maintain the momentum of the first phase of the VSI and acknowledged the challenges involved in moving forward with the implementation of the Accord and Codes as well as the recommendations of joint tables.

Governance Structures

The Co-chairs outlined the new governance structures for VSI, including government-only, sector-only, and joint committees.

Ministerial Consultative Committee (MCC)
• Successor to the Reference Group of Ministers
• Members still to be confirmed

Joint Steering Committee (JSC)
• forum for joint work/discussion
• will direct and oversee the remaining work of the Initiative, including implementation of the Accord and Codes
• will also report on progress of VSI to MCC

Voluntary Sector Forum (VSF)
• composed of senior leaders in the sector
• will be the link between the VSI and the sector
• will focus on the implementation of the Accord and Codes and will help maintain the momentum and visibility of these
• intends to engage colleagues across the country through various coalitions and networks of the voluntary sector.

Deputy Minister Accountability
• at the direction of the Clerk of the Privy Council, all departments and agencies are to appoint a champion to implement the Accord and Codes of Good Practice for funding and policy dialogue; virtually all have done so
• champions will also support reporting on progress related to the implementation as part of the performance contracts for Deputy Ministers.

ADM Steering Committee (ADMSC)
• provide horizontal leadership for VSI through Canadian Heritage as the lead department for the initiative
• present advice to the MCC
• contribute strategic advice and government direction to government members of the JSC
• ensure the interests of the broader federal community are taken into account
• Eileen Sarkar, Canadian Heritage is Chair, Andrew Treusch, HRDC is vice-chair

The voluntary sector members tabled a document outlining the priorities of the Voluntary Sector Forum for the next two years. The document is attached.


The first annual meeting between voluntary sector leaders and the Ministerial Consultative Committee will be held in October 2003, coinciding with the anniversary of the end of phase one of VSI. This will allow time to make progress on recommendations for further work and report on it at this meeting. The possibility of more frequent meetings will be reviewed by the JSC and determined depending on need.

Joint Steering Committee Terms of Reference

The draft terms of reference for the JSC were circulated to all members in advance of the meeting and were are also vetted more broadly within the voluntary sector and federal departments.


• Conflict of interest guidelines for voluntary sector members will be appended to the terms of reference.

• Generally, proceedings of JSC meetings will be made public and the voluntary sector and government members will share information with their respective sides; however, the JSC will respect the principle of non-attribution and will not share the positions of individual organizations or departments. In addition, the JSC may determine that some discussions will not be made public. Co-chairs will canvass members at the conclusion of each meeting to make this determination.

• Terms of reference approved.


• VSAD will send the Treasury Board Secretariat’s policy on volunteers, referenced in Annex B to the terms of reference, to JSC members.

• VSFS and VSAD will develop options for a mechanism for conflict resolution for the JSC, to fulfil section 1.5 of the terms of reference. Options will be presented at next JSC meeting.


Regulatory Joint Table

Bill McCloskey updated JSC on the recommendations of the Regulatory Joint Table. The table will deliver its final report to the Ministers of Finance and Revenue, with a copy to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, in mid- to late-March 2003. (Presentation attached.)

Gordon Floyd flagged four related issues for follow-up:
• broader dissemination of the report of the Regulatory Joint Table
• new appeals process
• institutional reform
• future of the alternative process dealing with advocacy and the definition of charity


• JSC agreed that the report of the Regulatory Joint Table will be made public.

• JSC will maintain a watching brief on the four related issues; senior Finance officials will be invited to a future JSC meeting to discuss work of the alternative process.


Joan Katz, Director of the Voluntary Sector Affairs Directorate at Canadian Heritage, updated JSC on the awareness initiative. (Presentation attached.)

Darlene Bessey noted that the Voluntary Sector Forum accepts using the Canadian Heritage agency of record to develop and implement the awareness initiative provided the agency engages the voluntary sector to the fullest possible extent in all phases of the work; the rationale for using the agency of record, rather than a Request for Proposals process, will be publicly communicated due to the importance of this issue to the voluntary sector.


Andrew Treusch updated JSC on the work of Capacity Advisory Committee. (Presentation attached.) JSC members expressed support for the various projects and research and noted that a recent Volunteer Calgary publication includes an article on measuring the economic value of volunteerism.
Marcel Lauzière noted that there had been good collaboration at the Capacity Table. He stated the HR projects were very important to the sector and it was important this work continue.


VSAD will circulate the Volunteer Calgary article to JSC members.

Information Management / Information Technology

Mary Carman updated JSC on the work of the IM/IT Advisory Group. (Presentation attached.) The final report of the IM/IT Joint Table is to be released soon and will set the stage for Industry Canada to issue Requests for Proposals and/or letters of intent to move forward on the five recommendations in the report.

Marcel Lauzière expressed concern about the delay in releasing the report and the reallocation of a portion of the IM/IT Joint Table’s budget to ongoing VSI governance activities.

It was noted that the original VSI investment did not include funding for governance activities by the government or the voluntary sector beyond the first two years of the initiative. As the new government lead for the VSI, Canadian Heritage is working within government and with the voluntary sector to identify potential sources of funding to continue this work.

Integrated Workplan

The JSC terms of reference call for the development of an integrated work plan for the implementation of VSI Phase I recommendations. It is important to tell the VSI story to Canadians. The integrated workplan will provide all parties involved in VSI with a cohesive picture of where they are going and how their activities fit into the larger context of the initiative.


VSFS and VSAD, in close collaboration with the advisory bodies, will develop an integrated work plan, including a budget, timelines, and deliverables, for discussion at the next meeting of the JSC.

Accord and Codes of Good Practice Implementation Plan

Linda Savoie and Gary Evans from VSAD and VSFS presented the proposed implementation plan for the Accord Between the Government of Canada and the Voluntary Sector and the Codes of Good Practice on Funding and Policy Dialogue. (Presentation attached.)

JSC members expressed support for the proposed approach, complimented the secretariats for the excellent preliminary joint work, and agreed this is a critical area on which they must move forward. Concerns were expressed about implementing such an ambitious plan with limited resources, the need to raise awareness among voluntary sector organizations, especially at the grass roots level, and the challenges involved in measuring progress. It will be important to take a creative, incremental approach, making use of existing networks. The voluntary sector members noted resources need to be found to implement the Accord and Codes in the sector.


VSAD and VSFS will proceed with implementation plans and come back to JSC with options concerning the timing of the first annual report.

The VSF will submit an implementation plan and budget to Canadian Heritage.

Other Issues

Voluntary sector members suggested that simultaneous interpretation is not necessary at future JSC meetings. Government members agreed to consider this issue on a case by case basis to ensure all members and invited guests are comfortable speaking in the official language of their choice.

JSC members will report back to their colleagues on this meeting; overall, report will be positive and optimistic about future joint work.

Next Steps

The next JSC meeting will take place around the end of April; date will be set as soon as possible to accommodate travel planning.

*   Voluntary Sector Forum Secretariat (VSFS)
** Voluntary Sector Affairs Directorate (VSAD)

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Last Updated: 2019-11-21